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Rogers Park Adds Some Funk to its Trunk…of Records

By Hans R. Schmidt

Funk Trunk Owner

Cunningham stands next to some of his more than 1,000 records. Courtesy Funk Trunk Records

ROGERS PARK – Quinn Cunningham has injected some much-needed funk to the Rogers Park music scene since opening his vinyl record store Funk Trunk Records last November.

Located just north of the intersection of Morse Avenue and Sheridan Road, Funk Trunk Records offers an eclectic array of music. According to the store’s website, Funk Trunk specializes in funk, soul, disco, as well as hip-hop, house, blues and much more.

While the 300-square-foot store might seem a little small, it is more than enough space for Cunningham to display his collection of nearly 1,000 wax and vinyl records.

The Rogers Park resident first fell in love with vinyl about five years ago while working in a record store in Louisville, Kentucky.

“I ran the store’s vinyl collection and really dug what they had,” Cunningham said. “Since then I have been going to record stores around the country and finding some real gems.”

Cunningham moved to Rogers Park a few years later, where he worked as a marketer for companies like Blackberry and ComEd. He quit his job last summer to focus all his efforts on Funk Trunk Records.

While the vinyl record industry hit rock bottom during the late 90s and early 2000s, there has been a large rise in demand over the past few years. According an article from Forbes magazine published this past summer, vinyl record sales rose nearly 18 percent in 2012. In 2013, sales went up by 32 percent and rose to 51 percent in 2014.

Rogers Park resident Aisosa Omorogbe, 23, may have had a part to play in the resurgence of vinyl records.

“My girlfriend gave me one of those cheesy record players you can find at Urban Outfitters,” Omorogbe said. “At first I didn’t use it much, until I found out that Funk Trunk Records was only a few blocks from my apartment. I love trying to find records my parents played when I was younger. It’s like a mini-nostalgia trip each time.”

Cunningham is not surprised by the recent upswing in demand. He believes his store offers something the modern music scene can’t.

“While I always think that vinyl will remain more of a niche hobby, I anticipate it will continue to grow,” Cunningham said. “Even though buying digital music is more convenient, the listening experience is much different. I know it sounds weird, but you can feel the music.”

Cyrus Goudarzi, a 25-year-old Loyola University Chicago graduate, visited Funk Trunk Records more than a few times before graduating last May.

“I love their selection, it is always being updated and the records are always reasonably priced,” Goudarzi said. “Plus, there is nothing like hearing that trademark scratch sound from the record player.”

Most of the records in the shop are reasonably priced and they keep a bargain bin of $1 and $2 records for people looking for a good deal.

Cheap prices and a short walk from Loyola Chicago’s Lake Shore Campus makes this store a must-visit for any student looking for new music. Funk Trunk Records should keep Loyola students – and Rogers Park residents – grooving for many years to come.


Quinn’s Top 3 Records of All Time

Here are Funk Trunk Records owner Quinn Cunningham’s three favorite albums to listen to on vinyl:

1) Ghostface Killah — “Supreme Clientele”

"Listening to this album on vinyl changes the vibe completely. You can hear the samples much better." (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

“Listening to this album on vinyl changes the vibe completely. You can hear the samples much better.” (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

2) Miles Davis — “Blue In Green”

 

"Miles Davis is one of the coolest cats there ever was. This record is a must for jazz lovers."  (AP Photo)

“Miles Davis is one of the coolest cats there ever was. This record is a must for jazz lovers.” (AP Photo)

3) Parliament Funkadelic — “Mothership Connection”

"WE WANT THE FUNK! Do I need to say anything else?" (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

“WE WANT THE FUNK! Do I need to say anything else?” (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

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The Hub Bub is a collection of articles, videos, audio, photo slideshows, interactive maps and other media produced by students enrolled in journalism courses at Loyola University Chicago's School of Communication. For more about the School of Communication, our award winning faculty, and our state of the art facilities located in the heart of Chicago, visit our website.